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1. So after another full arc we get another interlude in the form of a flashback. At least unlike last time they actually cede into it so we know what’s going on. The last time they did this I thought Lupin had done some kind of hallucinogenic drug that made him think he was part of the Adam West Batman universe.
In any case, we go back to the “Red Jacket” Lupin era, where the gang plots to find the lost treasure of one Pablo Escobar, the legendary drug king who (in this show at least) was said to be making seven billion in cash per day. In this timeline Pablo has the look of an Uncharted villain, and true to form this means he’s kept his entire “treasure” on a secluded island that’s hard to get to without specialized skills and the ability to solve puzzles. Lupin finds a strong hint in a photograph of an island where Pablo’s name is written on it, and suddenly they’re off.
2. Can we talk about how Fujiko totally got a guy killed this episode? I mean it doesn’t mean when last episode the gang was handing out Mortal Kombat fatalities, but those guys were at least world-class assassins. Live by the sword, die by the sword y’know?
But Fujiko talks to a dude while they’re in the middle of the jungle searching for Pablo Escobar’s collection and asks the guy for a map to the forest. The guy quickly points out that the drug cartels don’t like maps, so Fujiko turns up the feminine charms and the next thing you know, he’s coughed up a map for the group. Problem is, he did it while there was a gang of…unsavory individuals in the background, so of course they accost him immediately afterwards. They don’t show him getting murked, but c’mon. He knew the rules, and they do say dead men tell no tales.
3. I’ll admit my memory of the older Lupin series is kinda fuzzy; I mostly just watched the thirty or so episodes that aired on Adult Swim back in the early 2000’s, but…I don’t recall there being so much supernatural stuff there as it is here? Last week it was giant leopardmen…now it’s ghost cars.
After dodging the Pablo Family’s attacks, Nathan Drake Lupin and the gang make their way down to a secluded underground location and finally find the legendary collection–a huge lot of rare cars, each worth millions and somehow in pristine condition. But before they can ride out in a bunch of sweet, expensive rides–they get attacked by a car with a shadow driver inside. They shoot at the driver, but miss every shot, resulting in Lupin deciding to distract the driver with a race, because every Uncharted game has at least one driving section.
The letters carved into the island spelling Pablo’s name turn out to be meant to be a racetrack, and Lupin uses it to win by a hair before the ghost fades away. Once he does, both the cars turn into scrap metal, completely worthless vehicles because the “spell” has worn off. Literally none of what I just said made any sense, but then Drake always found a way to lose the big score at the end too.
4. Let’s keep that Uncharted reference going a bit longer by pointing out that this episode could’ve easily been called “That Time The Gang Wiped Out an Entire Army”. After the Pablo Family is easily embarrassed by Lupin and his buddies, they decide to call in the Borazilian army, who starts shelling the island to kill off the group so they can move in on the treasure.
They rush back into the underground area with Pablo’s Collection and at first start to run using the submarine (which is conveniently the only thing left in tact), but then realize the sub can only hold three people. Rather than decide who stays and who goes, one by one Lupin, Goemon, and Jigen decide to escape the “hard” way to save their friends…then ultimately apparently end up killing everyone sent at them so they can make it back home. Lupin following in the legendary steps of one Nathan Drake, a guy who could’ve stealthed through most of his encounters but still wound up slaying mini armies every level.
5. Much as I love Fujiko, she was more trouble than she was worth this episode. It’s her fault the map to the collection gets discovered by the Pablo Family, and she immediately abandons Lupin and the others when things get dicey and they decided to take out the army. The rest of the group decides to go down fighting, and Fujiko’s response is literally “Eh, fuck these guys; I’m out of here.” Now it’s true, Lupin spends most of his time objectifying her…but she could also have easily told him to go screw when he invited her on this mission. And the other guys only problem is she tends to screw them over and run off with the score, but here she was just a burden. Jigen spends the entire episode saying Lupin shouldn’t have brought her and for once I agree…but I really would prefer she weren’t written this way at all.
Lupin the III Part V is available to stream on Crunchyroll.
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